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UK ‘risks diminishing global influence’ in no-deal Brexit, ex-ambassadors warn

A no-deal Brexit could result in an "unprecedented - and self-inflicted - diminution of Britain's international influence", a group of former ambassadors have claimed.

Writing to the Times, the ambassadors urge Prime Minister Boris Johnson to use this weekend's G7 summit in Biarritz, France to "signal a different approach".

They said: "We need a foreign policy based on long-term UK interests and a strong economy, and that requires close relationships with our European neighbours.

"No-deal represents the biggest unilateral abandonment of those interests in modern British history. It should not be allowed to happen.

"We hope the Prime Minister uses this G7 meeting to signal a different approach."

They added: "This year's G7 summit takes place against the backdrop of an impending no-deal Brexit that would result in an unprecedented - and self-inflicted - diminution of Britain's international influence.

"The UK has successfully used its role within the EU to drive forward global action.

"Take the global financial crisis in 2008, in which Britain secured an EU consensus on the way forward before selling it to the Americans and others in the G20.

"On climate change, the common European position was crucial in securing international support."

Earlier on Friday, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay confirmed the UK would not nominate a new candidate for EU commissioner.

National nominations for the new EU Commission are currently being considered and discussed in other EU members states.

He said it would be a "distraction" to nominate someone for the post.

Mr Barclay added: "We are leaving the EU on October 31. As a departing member state we will not be involved in the new Commission so it would be a distraction to nominate a new commissioner."

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